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Happy New Year — 2020

The Year 2020 sounds very science-fictiony to me! And isn’t 20/20 an indication of perfect vision! Not sure what that all means, but I am resolved to experience more, achieve more and communicate more.

Experience: With six ordinary travel experiences already planned for 2020, I am resolved to take advantage of an unexpected travel experience. A surprise wedding, a research trip that can’t be missed, an exciting speaking opportunity, family frivolities in a distant city.

Achievement: Anyone who knows me, my husband and our dog, Pippa, the Portuguese Water Dog, also knows that we have been training and competing in rain and compete in Canine Nose Work for many years. Our team has earned two Nose Work 3 level titles and need just one more NW3 title before we earn our NW3 Elite title and can begin competing at the Elite level. 2020 is our year to achieve this very exciting step in our Nose Work journey.

Communication: I resolve to lunch more often with my friends, to plague my grandchildren with attention from their Gramma Linda, to actually telephone my family members and good friends more often–just to hear their voices.

Of course there’s the usual: meeting my book release deadlines with less sturm and drang, expending the same number of calories every day that I take in (!), clearing the veggie garden of last seasons weeds–before it’s time to plant in the late winter.
Understanding that a resolution is merely a “guideline”, I can only resolve to experience 2020 to the fullest. Travel far, taking time to smell the roses and sharing every minute with the people I adore.

A very happy and achievable 2020 to you all!

A Writer’s Research

Details, details, details. Yes, that’s why you’ll find me on one of my historical research trips shamelessly fondling fat iron door hinges, sniffing the fresh floor rushes in an Elizabethan kitchen, rubbing my cheek against a cold marble pillar in the sanctuary of Salisbury Cathedral, or groping my way through the cool, echoing underground caverns of Cheddar Gorge, where wheels of cheese are still aged on great wooden racks.

Yummy details that allow me to experience the height and volume of a castle courtyard or the oppressive closeness of the dank dungeon below. Details that help me put you, my readers, right into the scene with my characters.

I have loads of photos I could share with you, but I thought you might enjoy a few scrapbook pages of the research I collected in 2007 at Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, UK — with my impressions, brochures, entrance tickets and the receipts I kept for the tax man.